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Nut Nutrition

maksim shutov

Nuts of all sorts have been an important food source for humans for centuries. In fact, it’s theorized that the discovery and inclusion of nuts in our diets may have helped shape our brains and intelligence.

This makes sense when you consider the walnut, especially. Walnuts resemble tiny brains inside a skull. As a result, they were often associated with brain health. But many different nuts have a variety of nutrients beneficial for brain health and beyond.

Nuts are a rich source of complex carbohydrates. Carbs in nuts vary, but cashews and almonds have some of the highest carbohydrate contents at 8.6 and 6.1 grams per one-ounce serving, respectively.

Nuts also contain a good amount of protein, which is why they’re often recommended as a protein source to include in a plant-based diet. Peanuts rank the highest in protein, followed closely by almonds, pistachios, and cashews.

Additionally, nuts contain fiber, contributing to satiety. Hazelnuts and almonds contain the most fiber per ounce at 3 and 4 grams, respectively.

Nuts contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. The high fat content in nuts also contributes to a relatively high amount of calories per serving. If you’re trying to manage weight, you may want to stick to some of the lowest-calorie nuts, such as raw chestnuts or cashews, or limit your portion to no more than one or two ounces per day.

Across the board, nuts also contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A one-ounce serving of cashews contains 1.9 milligrams of iron, a vital mineral for transporting oxygen in the blood. And almonds, cashews, and peanuts are all good sources of magnesium. A single Brazil nut can also provide an entire daily value’s worth of selenium.

So with all of that to consider, what is the healthiest nut? Opinions may vary, but walnuts have some of the highest antioxidant levels and are also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. And researchers found that walnuts had the greatest health benefits among all the nuts studied in PREDIMED, a landmark randomized clinical trial on the Mediterranean diet.

( Excerpt taken from the Food Revolution Network)

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